US to ban Backwoods, Swishers and other flavored blunt wraps
David Downs April 30, 2021
Flavors blunt wraps are in the FDA crosshairs. (Adrienne Allen/Leafly)
Your illegal weed dealer might be adding menthol cigarettes and smuggled Backwoods and Swisher Sweets to their offerings next year.
On Thursday, April 29, the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and all flavored cigars, starting in 2022. The FDA’s proposal responds to a lawsuit from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council calling for the national ban, which would target makers and sellers, not users, of menthols and flavored cigars.
Tobacco companies will likely challenge the decision in court, according to Stat News.
But such a ban would affect many cannabis consumers—primarily Black smokers—who roll marijuana into flavored tobacco or cigar leaves, commonly called a blunt. Half of cigar sales in 2020 were two flavored brands: Black and Mild, followed by Swisher Sweets.
A 2020 study found that a third of weed consumers smoke blunts, while almost two-thirds of Black weed consumers smoke blunts. A separate study of blunt wrap brand Backwoods-tagged content on Instagram found that half of #backwoods posts were marijuana-related.
FDA confronts a health inequity
The FDA wants to reduce tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death in the US. The agency stated that banning menthols and flavored cigars would reduce the number of kids who start smoking, and encourage menthol smokers to quit.